How Much It Costs To Create A New AAA Video Game Title

Posted on October 26, 2018  Leave a Comment

It’s well known in the gaming industry that the cost of creating video games has skyrocketed in recent years, especially when it comes to studio-published AAA titles. Twenty years ago, a small team on a relatively low budget could create a video game, but in a more competitive world, we’re seeing publishers and developers dropping tens of millions on a single title.

But how much do publishers actually spend, and why does it cost so much? It’s an otherwise simple question, but due to the industry becoming so large and widespread, it has become a much more complex, costly venture.

1. The Cost of Engines

All video games work on engines, which are what control a variety of core mechanics of the game, including the physics. In older games, engines were relatively simple in comparison to today, and could be put together by much smaller teams.

Today, the call for more realistic physics, better visuals, and more mechanics means that developers will often need to either build an engine from scratch, which companies like Square Enix often do; or they need to take an existing engine and heavily modify it for their own usage.

2. This Means More Manpower

With the new focus on aesthetics and a wider range of mechanics, new games will often require much larger teams. This means having designers, programmers, testers, marketing personnel, editors, storywriters, and much more.

Some major publishers, such as Electronic Arts or Ubisoft will often employ hundreds of developers to work on a single game, each one requiring their own salary.

3. Marketing

When gaming was still growing in popularity, even being more popular than movies in some cases and the number of games on the market was still low, it was much easier to get the news of a new title around, often through a magazine or word of mouth. Today, with millions of potential players, publishers need to market their products in the same way any company would: by creating marketing campaigns that reach as many people as possible.

So whether they are promoting games like those found at or the latest FPS release, the principle remains the same. This marketing is believed to be one of the most expensive parts of the process, with some campaigns costing millions at a time, which requires an entire marketing team of its own, including translators for those games that are sold in more than one language.

4. Cost of Specific Games

Most publishers do not publicly reveal how much a game cost to make, with some admitting that they simply spend as much as they need to on the game.

Companies like Blizzard are notorious for this, and tend to work the budgeting as a process rather than paying up-front for the project, which is dissimilar to how the film industry works, for example.

So, the costs of famous AAA titles on the market are usually rough estimates based on the salaries of developers, purchasing of assets, and marketing expenditure.

Frogger (1982) – $5 million
Resident Evil (1999) – $1 million
Call of Duty 2 (2005) – $14 million
Destiny (2014) – $140 million

The Future Of The AAA Gaming Industry And What To Expect

Posted on October 26, 2018  Leave a Comment

While AAA gaming has never been more popular, it’s also true that there has never been a more tumultuous time for the industry, apart from the crash of 1983 that saw the industry almost comes to a complete halt.

But with constantly rising costs, a more splintered player-base, and more and more indie studios taking the spotlight, will AAA developers and publishers start seeing their empires coming to an end?

It’s a difficult question to answer, especially when taking the industry as a whole. While one portion relies almost solely on physical sales, the other side is seeing more players turning to all-digital markets like Steam and Good Old Games, the best we can do right now is speculate what may happen in coming years.

1. The Cost of Creation

Video games have never cost more to develop, market, and produce, and we’ve seen more than a few companies over the few years filing for bankruptcy over the rising costs.

The average AAA title is now speculated to cost publishers up to $100 million to create, and the pushing of such mechanics as microtransactions points to the fact that this trend is showing no signs of slowing down.

2. Turning All-Digital

The age of physical media may soon start to see its end, as more media and entertainment outlets begin offering their services and products in digital form only. Such as would be found with something like the games available at

Steam was the first real platform to prove that physical media was not a necessity to enjoy video games, and it’s quickly become the world’s most popular gaming platform. The cost of creating physical copies is also starting to take its toll, especially in a world where there is a large call for the lowering of waste.

3. Game Streaming

Along with the change over to all digital, many publishers are turning more of their attention to live streaming, which has become immensely popular since the creation of streaming services like Twitch. Some, like CEO of Ubisoft, Yves Guillemot, have openly spoken about their future plans, and how they intend to make streaming a much more important aspect of their games in the future.

Talking to reporters, Guillemot has explained that linking multiple devices together, such as computers, smart phones, and tablets, allows for a much more practical relationship with games which are streamed on the go. He also explains that the ultimate goal is to have a single game that is playable across as many platforms as possible, and that said game could be easily switched from device to device, which would be powered by their streaming-centric data servers.

The implications of this kind of gaming aren’t quite apparent yet, as the gamer would need stable, fast internet, and devices that were capable of streaming without interruption.

But as fibre and LTE continues to grow in popularity around the world, and as more and more ISPs offer faster Internet speeds, it may just be the gaming of the future for AAA companies.

The Most Anticipated AAA Video Games Coming Next Year

Posted on October 26, 2018  Leave a Comment

With just over two months left of 2018, all the best games of the year have already been released, and while we’ve seen some truly amazing titles, such as God of War 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2, it’s time to start looking at what’s on the horizon.

We’re starting to see more companies turn to online elements, featuring extensive multiplayer options, and, of course, the Battle Royale format continues to be a fan-favourite.

But for those that prefer a single-player experience, there is still plenty to look forward to. 2019 promises a wide variety of games, perfect for those who enjoy everything from the real money bingo found at to MOBA and FPS.

1. Anthem

Anthem, set to be released on the PS4, Xbox One, and PC, is Electronic Art’s answer to Bungie’s Destiny, featuring many of the same elements. The player starts out in a large sci-fi universe that players can share.

The game will be in third-person, where each player will be featured as a Freelancer, wearing powerful exosuits that allow him or her to explore the large environment almost completely freely. Along the way, players will encounter alien enemies that they will need to defeat in order to collect loot.

2. Devil May Cry 5

Another edition to the extremely popular Devil May Cry series by Capcom, the fifth iteration will be available on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

The game is set in the original DMC universe before the latest reboot, and will have players in control of Nero, the protagonist of the fourth game.

3. Metro Exodus

Metro has long been a favourite of open-world fans, and Exodus looks to be a continuation of the previous games, all of which were met with enormous praise.

Players take on the role of a hardened soldier and survivor in a world decimated by a nuclear apocalypse, where they’ll spend their time exploring the world and fighting off the many dangers that lurk around the corner.

4. Doom Eternal

After the massive success of 2016’s Doom, id Software is bringing out a much-anticipated sequel. Doom Eternal will see the player battle the legions of Hell on Earth this time, and should feature much of the same fast-paced and brutal combat that made the 2016 iteration so well-liked. A trailer is expected to be released for the 2019 Quakecon.

5. Beyond Good and Evil 2

As one of the most highly-requested sequels of all time, Beyond Good and Evil 2 is technically going to be prequel to the original game and will follow the adventures of Jade and Pay’j.

While the game has not been officially been given a release date yet, the cinematic trailer promised a world full of high-tech ships, talking animals, and a vibrant crew of futuristic pirates.

6. Cyberpunk 2077

Following the Witcher 3’s incredible success, CD Projekt Red is hoping to prove themselves once again with their upcoming game, Cyberpunk 2077, which is will be set in a dystopian, Blade Runner-type world with plenty of RPG elements to look forward to.

No one knows how expensive video games should be

Posted on August 18, 2017  Leave a Comment

“Who wants to Play video games” by JD Hancock released under CC Attribution license

No one knows how expensive video games should be, and this is becoming a very real problem for the industry. A lot of companies are still selling video games at prices that are just too high. They’re losing money as a result, since fans are well aware of the fact that they don’t have to spend this kind of money on video games these days. This situation is making things complicated for the industry.

For one thing, across many different industries, companies will try to get a sense of the industry pricing standard for certain goods and services. This will help to serve as a guide for how much they should be spending and when. However, if there really is no industry standard or if it is shifting constantly, this can make things significantly harder for almost everyone involved. Video games range widely in price now, and many of them are essentially free. This means that many companies are in an increasingly difficult position.

Obviously, video game companies need to make sure that they cover the cost of production. However, beyond that, things will get more complicated. Video game companies want as much profit as possible, but they need to set realistic expectations or they’re not going to get the returns that they want.

The video games that are being sold for relatively large prices now have to compete with video games that are completely free. If those video games aren’t completely free, than they will usually be free initially. People will just have to pay in order to advance through the different levels. This sort of thing can make the pricing structure for video games even more difficult.

It means that certain games will essentially vary in price themselves, since people might pay more or less for an individual game based on how much they would like to advance within it. Trying to set a price for new features within a game can be really difficult in its own right, and a lot of people will struggle with that aspect of the pricing structure.

These sorts of features are relatively new, so video game companies don’t have a lot of history to draw on when they are trying to establish this part of the pricing structure. The new world of free or partly free mobile games is changing things quickly. Being able to join Royal Vegas and play free video slot machines is very different from playing some of the video games of old.

There is a school of thought that a video game should be treated like a service rather than a good. Video games can be copied infinitely. Some people think that this should affect the pricing structure. There are video game developers who more or less request money from potential fans before the games are developed, embracing the crowdfunding model that has helped a lot of people succeed in the new world. Of course, even then, people don’t really know how much money they are going to need or what they should expect from fans.

Top 5 Tips for New Game Developers

Posted on November 3, 2014  Leave a Comment


“Who wants to Play video games” by JD Hancock released under CC Attribution license

Making games is a hobby that mixes the technical, with the creative, with the potentially professionally rewarding. You can make games provides some great tips:

Let me give you a few key pieces of advice to help you get started:

TIP #1 Don’t waste money

Don’t go out looking for software and books to buy, thinking that the more stuff you buy the better equipped you’ll be to make games. All the software and information you’re going to need to make games is available on the internet for free. You don’t need to spend any money – it won’t give you a leg up. All you need is self-motivation, and money can’t buy you that.

TIP #2 Don’t form teams

This seems an obvious thing to do and it’s a path universities will certainly push you towards. A lot of people get into the mentality that you need a coder, an artist, a musician and a designer. However, if you want to get started making games, you should start with something that plays to your strengths and doesn’t require a whole team. Sure, if you’ve got a close mate you want to work with that’s great – but don’t go on a recruitment drive. There are ways to cover for all the skills you’re lacking. That way you can start learning how to make games before you have to deal with how much of a bitch team management can be.

TIP #3 Tiny scope

When you’re starting out, try to focus on the simplest game idea you can come up with. A single idea, a single gameplay mechanic you want to play with or a single scene between a few characters. You need to be at your most humble and find the most basic idea that you can still get excited about experimenting with. Don’t try to make the next World of Warcraft or Call of Duty. You need to forget about that epic project you’ve been mulling over for years. If you’re making a high budget gambling game, think again. Concentrate on something else and users will try to beat the dealer at Paddy Power live casino online instead. Let them, you didn’t need people who would only go to high budget games anyway. I’m sure you’ve got a masterpiece brewing in your head, but trying to make that right out of the gate will be a huge disaster. Even if you finished it, which you probably wouldn’t, it would be a mess. You need to come back to that later, once you’ve got some experience and have a better idea what you’re doing.

TIP #4 They’re not all Braid

Don’t feel under pressure to make your first game into an amazingly original, clever, quirky breakthrough in video game design, or something that nobody has ever seen before. You can just pick a game genre that you love and have a go at it. Whatever you make will be infused with your own style from how you interpret that genre – and that’s enough. Agonising over the first step because of the belief that it has to be brilliant can stop you from ever making anything.

TIP #5 Ditch the design document

You don’t need a 20 page epic bible all about how your game is going to work. I believe the best approach is almost always to try and get something playable in a rough form as quickly as you possibly can. Once you can start playing your game and experimenting with how you can change it you are going to find a lot more ideas begin to flow. They’ll be better ideas than you’ll come up with staring a word processor trying to imagine in your head how the game will play.

Iterating over your game through lots of different builds where you play with ideas and find out what does and doesn’t work for you is going to teach you more about game design than any well formatted design document, any number of lectures or books you can read on the subject. In fact, let me give you the single most important lesson in game design you will ever hear:

1. There are no rules to game design!

It’s definitely worth reading up online to see what other people have to say about game design. There are a lot of forums, articles and video lectures on the topic and understanding what people have to say and why they’ve come to their opinions on the topic is helpful in understanding what’s important to you. However you shouldn’t get it into your head there are universal principles you need to follow. Even for some of the most basic design rules (games should be fun, accessible, completable or fair) I’ve always found games that break that rule and are still amazing works.

I feel the most important thing about making games is that they’re a way to express yourself to an audience. If you can learn to ignore the advice you don’t agree with and embrace what appeals to you then you’re going to be able to find your own voice and the games you make will be distinctly yours. Don’t make what other people might want or expect you to make, make something for yourself. If you fail… who cares? At least you tried to do something you wanted.

My advice is no exception to this. They say all advice is autobiographical. The stuff I’m telling you are the things I wish someone had told me back when I was getting started. It would have saved me years I threw away on dead end projects. If you want to ignore what I’ve said and go your own path then good on ya’! I wish you all the best and hope you can succeed where I failed many times.


Content is made by YouCanMakeGames licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

3 Super Hard to Play Classical Piano Pieces

Posted on March 1, 2014  Leave a Comment

Everyone knows what a great piano piece sounds like. There are like thousands of awesome pieces we’ve heard from famous classical pianists: Charles-Valentin Alkan, Martha Argeric, Maurice Ravel, just to name a few. These artists have been creating stunning classical pieces from the past centuries. They are such masters, they have also been creating notoriously difficult pieces that may be impossible to play for mere beginners or even experienced players. Here are three of those classical hard-to-play pieces:


Photographer tduff


3 Piano Sonata No. 1 (Rachmaninoff)

After a numerous revisions and substantial cuts made at the advice of his colleagues, Sergei Rachmaninoff completed “A Piano Sonata in D minor” on April 11, 1908. It received a lukewarm response in Moscow on October 17, 1908, where Konstantin Igumnov premiered the piece. Itremains one of the more underperformed of Rachmaninoff’s works. The piece has 3 movements and takes about 35 minutes to perform. The sonata is structured like a typical classical sonata, with fast movements surrounding a slower, more tender second movement. Although this first sonata is a substantial and comprehensive work, its successor, Piano Sonata No. 2 (Op. 36), written only five years later, became the better-regarded and more enduring work.


Photographer celesteh

Transcendental Étude No. 5 (Liszt)

Franz Liszt, the composer of the Feux follets piece has went through three versions: The first is Étude en douze exercises from 1826, second is Douze études d’execution transcendentale from 1838, and the last one is the 1851 revision of the 1838 set. The difficult piece is the last version from 1851, and it is also the on that is most performed.It is a trimmed down and refined edit of the 1838 version. Its rapid double-note passages in the right hand accompanied by wide broken intervals in the left that are notoriously difficult to play.

Photographer Joe Shlabotnik

Gaspard de la nuit

And probably, one of the most hard-to-play classical piano piece is Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la nuit. The piece was written in 1908, with three movements that are based from a poem of Aloysius Bertrand. Why it became number one on this list? Simply because the piece became famous due to its movement, technical and profound musical structure.

Many of these classical pieces are played by masters on expensive pianos that are top of the line. Playing classical pieces sound best when performing on Grand Pianos and players are often only as good as the pianos they use to play so often players will rely on piano rental rather than purchasing their own significantly expensive pianos. Leave your favorite hard-to-play piano piece in the comments.

The Top Four Most Interesting (and Expensive) Pianos in the world

Posted on November 22, 2013  Leave a Comment

Are you interested in learning about the world’s most interesting and expensive pianos? This list will give you just that. Let’s jump right in.

4. John Lennon’s Model Z

John Lennon’s Steinway Model Z

The Model Z piano was originally bought by The Beatles member, John Lennon, in December 1970. He composed and recorded one of his immortal classic “Imagine” and was filmed playing the song on it for the very first time for his wife. Though it was not as artistic-looking as some of the other pianos on this list, and for the fact that it was fairly ordinary (because it was actually made out of ordinary walnut); it still attained the stardom through Lennon’s popularity. The piano got some cigarette burns due to the singer’s smoking habit but that possibly only adds to the value. It was believed that this piano symbolized to be a piece of art in British History. The piano was then sold at an auction in the year 2000 for $ 2.1 Million by British Superstar George Michael.
But then as George finish using this precious piano to complete his album, he then came up to a thought of returning Lennon’s piano. Presently, Model Z piano can be seen at Liverpool Museum and displayed to public. As George Michael says, “the piano was not the type of thing that should be in storage somewhere or being protected, it should be seen by people.” Now the piano serves to be a historical landmark in the whole world.

3. Marilyn Monroe´s Piano

This piano originally belonged to Marilyn’s mother and maybe that’s why she had an impressive sentimental attachment to this instrument, her feelings were even expressed in a book published by the artist. The last owner of the piano was Mariah Carey, the singer bought it for a price of $662,500 USD, yes, and that’s a big price for a piano. Actually the estimated price of that piano is approximately $10,000 USD, but since one of the most famous movie stars, Marilyn Monroe, was the owner, the piano’s value increased tremendously.

2. Alma-Tadema Piano


Alma-Tadema Steinway

This piano is really expensive, its value is approximately 1.2 million USD, that price was given mainly because of its fine art decorations, elaborated by the famous artist Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema (now we know why its name). The Alma-Tadema is also very interesting because it has been named as the most artistic piano ever produced a total work of art. Incredibly, almost a century later a Steinway Piano Dealer Los Angeles completed an exacting re-creation of the original piano, being the most expensive and elaborated project they realize. The re-creation tried to represent identical features, due to it was made with a historical significance, recreating every aspect of the original piano as closely as possible. The re-created version is valuated to half price, $675,000 USD.

1. Heintzman Crystal Piano


Heintzman Piano

This is the most expensive and particular piano in the entire world, it’s made totally of crystal with futuristic features. This incredible piano was purchased by an anonymous buyer for 3.2 million USD. This crystal piano’s debut was in 2008 during the Opening Ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing. The piano was played at the Opening Ceremony of the said Olympics by renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang, with a classical piece “Starlight”

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